Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems



  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    My first step would be to have the transmission flushed and filter changed. Make sure the shop puts the proper fluid back in it.
  • me2butch4ume2butch4u Posts: 17
    THANKS Ken!!! I went the next day and purchased one and installed it. No more bucking and backfiring!! I also noticed that it shifts smoother and accellerates better. The TPS for my Dakota was $83 bucks. A little more than the 22 you suggested, but WELL WORTH IT!! It was easy as pie to install. Took about 7 minutes and that included dropping a screw down in the engine compartment and having to locate it and fish it out. I am very happy now and so is my mechanic. Now he can fix all those other Dakotas that he was pulling his hair out over. :) :) :)
    Thanks again,
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I'm guessing You bought a factory part from Mopar. Either way, I'm glad it helped You with Your Dakota. Congrats My Friend!! Back yard tooling is still happening and I like that. It's good to see people fixing their own trucks and stuff and keeping the expense money in pocket for other things.. like headers and dual exhaust :)
  • 222444666222444666 Posts: 3
    Hi, I've had this truck for over a year. When I purchased a pop-up camper, durning our 1st trip, after getting "unhitched", I noticed the truck acting up while driving. The truck ran great before hitching up and then sometime durning traveling it starts. While driving, it bucks, the tac jumps up 1-2 rpms. It feels like it's missing but the tac jumps up. Then down. Short hits, Sometimes in long episodes. Morning warm-up the tac goes up & down, up & down, like your reviving the gas pedal. In past history, it will act this way only after camping with the pop-up. It is commom for this to happen for 4-6 weeks then it goes away. Nothing comes up on the shops computer. Any Ideas? One advice was that the coolent sensor was bad. I bought a new one but can't locate it on the engine, I had the complete flush done. I lived through this problem for a couple of years now, knowing what to expect when we go camping and I think about those good old days with just a tent! Anybody with an idea??? I can't possibly be the only one with this condition. Thank You
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I'm not sure about this, but according to some of the information I've read about the Dakota transmission, it's some sort of spinoff from the Intrepid transmissions. At any rate, they have the ability to learn Your driving style, or so it would seem after my wife took my 95 Intrepid the day.. when I finally got it back, it had to relearn my driving behavior..thusly.. the Dakota is capable of the same thing, and when You have towed something.. like the 21 foot Maxum that I tow with my 2000 Dakota, unhitching it usually results in some abrupt transmission shifting.. usually after running it for a few miles, it seems to clear itself. There's probably somebody else more informed about these trannys.. I would much rather not have the feature than have it. It just seems kind of pointless to me.
  • dervin1dervin1 Posts: 9
    My dakota just started to delay in shifting from 1st to 2nd gears. The RPMs have to get to 2500-3000, the speedometer isn't working until the RPMs get to around 3000, then it shifts into 2nd gear and the speedometer starts working. No other shifting problems, no slipping.
    Any suggestions on what it needs? Speed sensor?
    Dave :confuse:
  • 222444666222444666 Posts: 3
    Thanks, It looks like another trip to transmission shop. Hopefuly it will still be acting up.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    Erratic behavior like that (erratic idle, bucking, etc.) can often be caused by a bad throttle position sensor. It's fairly easy to replace and can be found in most parts stores for under $20.
  • 222444666222444666 Posts: 3
    Thanks, Sunburn.......I'll try it.
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    I tow my boat which is identical to this boat and trailer except no surge brakes on my trailer with no problems except when it comes to stopping.. Dakota brakes are fine for Dakota size pulls :)) . Pulling power is good since I changed my tps. A little slow to start out, but goes like a raped ape once it's steaming up the highway. Little truck.. Big heart!!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The fact that the speedometer isn't working would cause me to consider the distance sensor right off. This sensor is located in the rear differential. I think it's about $30. A failed sensor is often accompied by an errant ABS fault indication.

    Best regards,
  • scoopyexscoopyex Posts: 31
    Here's something that's happening lately, and quite frankly, I expected it at some point in time because I've had an identical issue with an Intrepid in the past.. Start the truck, slip it into drive, and it does nothing.. a couple of light taps on the gas pedal usually cause it to get under way. It's been shifting erratically once in a while to. I'm just worried this is going to lead to a complete failure of the transmission. Does anybody know what causes this and if there are any back yard cures for it? I've spotted rebuilt units for my truck on Ebay.. I'm almost certain that I'm going to have to invest in one just to have a spare kicking around in the event my automatic goes belly up. In the mean time, maybe there's a simple cure?
  • I have a 1996 Dodge Dakota,2WD,3.9l with automatic transmission. . The transmission was "rebuilt"by a guy who fixes trasmission of the side. I drove it in the freeway a few days ago and the overdrive was working ok. I drove in the freway today and the overdrive is not working anymore . Any ideas what can be the problem?

    Thank you for you help. :sick:
  • deac3deac3 Posts: 1
    Recently my 2001 dodge dakota stated not shifting going into 3rd it would rev up rpms I would let off and it would shift. I changed the fluid and filter and now it will not shift at all. I dropped the pan and it had a small drain plug above the pan I opened it and only a little fluid came out. I am not sure what the problem is can you help?
  • I have a 1989 Dodge Dakota 3.9 V6 stick shift, it has a fairly new clutch, gear box in good condition with 90 weight gear oil regular change..

    I noticed when I am idling and my foot is off the clutch, the clutch makes a dry spinning noise, when I depress the clutch it stops making any noise any clues as to a sollution to quieten the clutch noise and why it makes this noise?
  • I just bought this 1993 4wd with 153,000 miles on it. Runs great except it wont downshift from OD to 3rd. Shifts fine in every other gear. I unhooked the od solenoid manually so it stayed in 3rd and downshifted fine. When I shut off the OD button on the dash it doesnt turn off. CHanged the filter and fluid and adjusted bands. The code if I remember correctly was 45 which showed transmission problems. Is the OD solenoid an obvious answer? Just want some suggestions before I pull the pan off again. Thanks
  • that sounds like it should be on a different kinda site. anyway, i got issues with my automatic tranny, it seems to be stuck in one gear. i got a diagnostic and it said open/short wire. any suggestions? it's a 2001.
  • Hi Jim... Unfortunately I have no assistance to offer you. I wish I did. I am curious if you located a solution to the problem. If you haven't figured it out yet, let me know, and when I do, I'll write you back.

    I have a 98 Durango with the exact same problem. Fluid is extremely clean, no wear displayed... just the occasional refusal to shift into third... typically, mine will not shift when cold... so I drive slowly about 2800-3000 rpms in second until it begins to warm up... then let off the accelerator and presto... smooth shift into third.

    I've been researching this extensively for the past few weeks. Still no luck.

    I was able to obtain a manual online. You're welcome to a copy if you would like... High speed internet is a must... it is 61 mb compressed!

    The manual has the troubleshooting/diagnostics in it and that's where I'm headed now. Laying in the driveway... one of my favorite spots! Nothing like the soft feel of pavement under your spine... or a creeper wheel to tweak your fingers... :-)

    I was hoping to find an easy electrical problem, but my instincts tell me that I'm in for a lot more than that. I'm prepared to rebuild my tranny myself if necessary. Twenty years ago, I rebuilt transmissions frequently.

    I'm confused and intriqued as to why Space Shuttle Engineers have to sneak their way into the development of our automotive transmissions... I suppose that there has to be something for them to do when they get out of college... :-)

    Hmmm... on second thought... for the astronauts sake... I'm assuming that the engineers who don't get to work on the space shuttle, obtain jobs in the automotive industry...

    :-) (if it is any consolation... I'm an engineer myself)...


  • Ken, thanks for being very clear and simple with your advice. Though I haven't replaced my TPS yet, this will be the first thing I do! Damn, I thought I was screwed and would have to go to a tranny shop, or worse yet, the dealer! Thanks!
  • I have no reverse lights on my 2000 Dakota Club Cab 3.9l (not the bulbs). My friend wants to troubleshoot the neutral safety switch but could not find it. He checked in a Chilton's in the library but that did not list the location either. Anyone know where we could find it? Thanks, Kered
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    On newer Daks the starter motor relay is energized through the clutch interlock switch (manual transmissions only). This switch receives current from a signal path in the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). That signal in the PCM is initialized through the transmission range sensor (TRS). The TRS is located on the transmission near the valve body assembly, just above the pan rail. It should have a six pin connector attached to it.

  • I am having same problem on a 2002 SLT, with 70K miles. Problem just started and dealer couldn't find anything wrong. I had truck towed for $120, then when they got to checking it, it shifted just fine! Of Course! A week later it happened again, I was able to muscle it into gear, which made a scraping sound from the shifter. I park level and never use foot brake. The key seems when I step on the brake, normally it smoothly moves to the floor and shifts fine. When it won't shift, the brake is hard, mushy and only moves 1/3rd of the way. Any thoughts here? I read comment on the pawl, what is that and can I replace or check it? Love my truck but live in fear I'll get stuck somewhere again.
  • I'm guessing from the fact that You muscled the tranny into gear that it's a standard transmission. There is no parking pawl in a strandard. That's something You only find in an automatic transmission because there are no gears to interlock to keep it from moving when it's parked. Your problem seems more related to a shifter that's gone hoopey or something mechanical in the transmission is jamming like a syncro or something in the shifter itself.
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    "When it won't shift, the brake is hard, mushy"

    I'm still trying to wrap my little pea brain around how the brake can be hard and mushy at the same time.... :confuse:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    For what it is worth -- when the brake pedal is hard, that indicates that the vacuum is low.

    It sounds to me as if it is a problem with the brake system that is causing the issue with not being able to shift out of park. There are several "safetys" built into the system and they may kicking in due to low vacuum.
  • I've read w/ interest some of the discussion here on failed Dakota trannies. Mine (automatic) just went south w/ 65K miles. Ugghhh!

    Engine has plenty of power - just seems not to be engaged w/ the drive train - almost like it's stuck in 1st gear.

    I hear about the TPS, but no engine codes posted to the dash. Wouldn't there have been a TPS message (OBD) posted?

    Any help or tips are gratefully appreciated!

    Thanks. :cry:
  • That's what I thought and told both dealers, ya think they would have done something? Nope, I looked at brake fluid and it's sick [not cool!] very dark, 30K plus on it.Can we replace fluid and clean system ourselves or need a shop for this?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Brake fluid should be changed every 2-3 years REGUARDLESS of miles. Moisture is attracted to the brake fluid and eventually will corrode the system from the inside-out.

    It would not hurt to replace the brake fluid... but I do not expect it to help with your problem.
    PS: EXPECT some of the bleeder nipples to break off if you are not careful.
Sign In or Register to comment.